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Dellah Harris Vail papers on Robert Browning's desk

 Collection
Identifier: MRBC-MS-00013

Scope and Contents

The Dellah Harris Vail Papers contain Vail's correspondence with scholars and dealers about Robert Browning's writing desk. The papers span the dates 1861 to 1934 and also include photographs of the desk, as well as Vail's manuscript notes and printed writings.

Dr. Derrick T. Vail purchased Robert Browning's writing desk from E. P. Dutton & Company on February 20, 1915 for his wife. Mrs. Vail bequeathed the desk to Smith College in memory of her daughter, Charlotte Farrell Vail, Class of 1923, who died at Smith College on March 11, 1923. When the College received the desk after Mrs. Vail's death on December 7, 1935, her papers and a note in Robert Browning's autograph were stored inside.

While the bulk of Mrs. Vail's papers are about the desk, there are some printed articles about Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Folder 6). Memorabilia from meetings of the Browning Circle of the Cincinnati Woman's Club include a poem by Calvin Dill Wilson entitled "The Writing of Robert Browning" (Folder 5). Mrs. Vail also collected flowers from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's grave in Florence and the Browning residence in Venice during her trip to Europe in 1924 (Folder 5). These papers are arranged in six series.

Dates

  • 1861-1934

Creator

Language of Materials

English.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Biographical / Historical

Derrick T. Vail was born on October 2, 1864 in Franklin, Ohio. After graduating from Miami Medical College in 1890, he practiced ophthalmology in Cincinnati, Ohio. His discovery of Tularemia-Conjunctivitis in man with Dr. William B. Wherry was his major contribution to medicine.

Dr. Vail married Dellah Harris of Franklin, Ohio, on April 14, 1891. The couple lived at 2219 Park Avenue, Walnut Hills, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Their daughter Charlotte Farrell Vail attended Smith College with the Class of 1923. She died in Northampton, Massachusetts, on March 11, 1923. Dr. Vail died on October 29, 1930. Mrs. Vail died on December 7, 1935. They were survived by their daughter Rosalind Vail Dwight of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Extent

1 boxes (0.25 linear feet)

Overview

Woman who owned Robert Browning's writing desk and bequeathed it to Smith College in memory of her daughter. Includes photographs of the desk, Vail's manuscript notes and printed writings, a note in Robert Browning's autograph, memorabilia, and flowers collected from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's grave in Florence and the Browning residence in Venice from a trip to Europe in 1924.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into six series:
  1. I. Correspondence, 1915-1927
  2. II. Writings, 1915-1934
  3. III. Photographs, 1915
  4. IV. Robert Browning Manuscript, n.d.
  5. V. Memorabilia, 1912-1924
  6. VI. Articles, 1861-1934

Arrangement

These papers are arranged in six series.

General

The Dellah Harris Vail Papers on Robert Browning's Desk are the physical property of the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the works or their legal representatives.
Title
Dellah Harris Vail papers on Robert Browning's desk
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Compiled by Karen V. Kukil
Date
2003
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2005-09-23: manoscmr8 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Repository Details

Part of the Mortimer Rare Book Collection Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063